Hospiscare Lottery top prize winner from Ottery urges more players to support the ‘fantastic’ charity through Covid-19 pandemic

A Hospiscare Lottery winner from Ottery St Mary has urged East Devon and Exeter residents to buy a ticket to support the charity through the pandemic.

Jeff Blackmore, who has played the Hospiscare Lottery since 2011 – winning the £1,000 top prize in December 2020 – bought tickets after the charity helped his wife and brother, who were both diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Jeff, originally from Tiverton, said, playing the Hospiscare Lottery was ‘win-win’ for the charity, and those taking part.

He said: “My brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and came to live with me and my wife, Debbie.

“He attended Hospiscare’s day centre in Tiverton and a Hospiscare nurse also visited him at home.

“I wanted to support Hospiscare so I signed up to their lottery. I play a couple of numbers and pay by direct debit.

“It’s only a small amount of money but it’s regular income for the charity, which I think is vital at the moment during the pandemic.”

Ottery resident Jeff, who on his retirement began volunteering at his local Hospiscare charity shop, added: “Hospiscare provides a fantastic service. My wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in July last year.

“There was always someone from Hospiscare there for me and Debbie, even during the pandemic.

“By supporting Hospiscare, I know there’s always going to be someone there when you need them.

“Playing the lottery is only a small amount of money, but it’s very worthwhile.

“You can benefit from winning prizes while making a very valuable contribution to the charity’s work. It really is win-win.”

Hospiscare, the hospice charity for Exeter, Mid and East Devon, has thanked those playing the weekly lottery for helping to raise £600,000 for its services, which are free for people living with terminal illnesses.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic hitting its finances hard, the charity hopes more people will sign up to play.

For as little as £1 a week, Hospiscare Lottery players have the chance to win 40 cash prizes every week, including the top prize of £1,000, while supporting the charity.

Tina Naldrett, Hospiscare’s lead nurse, said: “The closure of our twenty charity shops through lockdown and the cancellation of fundraising events this year has had a drastic effect on the hospice’s income.

“During these challenging times, the charity’s lottery has been a vital source of income that’s helped us to continue caring for patients through the pandemic.”

She added: “From all the staff at Hospiscare, we want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to our lottery players for their invaluable support.”

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Tina Naldrett, Hospiscare’s lead nurse, said: “The closure of our twenty charity shops through lockdown and the cancellation of fundraising events this year has had a drastic effect on the hospice’s income.”

Hospiscare cares for more than 2,000 patients every year across Devon.

The charity relies on fundraising support to raise 82 per cent of its annual income to ensure it can continue supporting terminally ill patients and their families across Devon when they need it most.

  • To play the Hospiscare Lottery and support end-of-life care for local people and families living with terminal illnesses, see here.

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